I am really not sure why we humans tend to get all sappy and nostalgic at the end of each calendar year. It seems to be a habit even if your year doesn’t end on December 31st. However, reflection and remembrance is a part of human life. Making resolutions also seems to be the wont of many people at this time of year as well. I suppose all that reflection brings about regrets and memories of failures during the year.
My year has been topsy-turvy to say the least. I have had significant changes in my work and career. I am still trying to get used to some of the more recent changes. I’m not one to dwell on failures so I don’t have a list of regrets. Regrets also tend to be such a bad business anyway. I guess the only significant foible this year on the athletic front was Hotter-n-Hell in August. I had to DNF it because of a broken spoke. That in itself doesn’t quite qualify as failure. Yet, it did give me more initiative to learn how to overcome that problem through building (or rebuilding) my own wheel. The proof in that pudding won’t show up until later in 2012, though. I did have some sucesses as well. I finally finished a ride that I had not completed in three years (Tour d’Italia – June). I also completed my first triathlon and (ahem) my first marathon. I’ve gotten to watch my kids grow up even more and learn how to deal with the world at large, and even to see my granddaughter at her school on grandparents day. Yeah, I think there were plenty of good things happening in 2011.
I’m not sure when I decided to quit the whole ‘resolution’ thing, but I really don’t do those anymore. I do prefer to set some goals for the year. Resolutions are something you ‘resolve’ to do, but culturally and psychologically, they tend to be more judgmental and success/failure oriented than they should. I also tend to think we set ourselves up with resolutions by making them unreachable then kicking ourselves for the failure. Goals, on the other hand, don’t have to be that way. Goals can be modified, adjusted, and reworked. Goals can be delayed, if necessary. One can measure efforts toward a goal as a percentage of success and then celebrate the percentage while making plans to continue. I like goals.
I have finally gotten back to spending more time reading (grad school can really take that out of you). I have several books lined up to read so far and I am going to try to keep at it. I finally have back some of the desire to read more science fiction than I had in the past. Hopefully, I’ll keep finding new works to read. Spending more time reading is a good goal for 2012.
On the training front, I am already working on my eating habits. I hope I can continue being diligent and will see my weight continue to drop. I know that my speed in running and swimming has picked up because of weighing less. I am also going to try and keep a longer long run going. I am planning to do a 10, 12, 15-mile rotation beginning next month. I had started doing 5-milers on Mondays. I am not certain those will stay, but we’ll see. I don’t plan on another marathon this year, but in 2013…we’ll see. Running more miles with less weight is a good goal.
After ‘Santa’ brought me a Park Tension Meter for Christmas, I have succeeded in getting my Trek back together. The rear wheel certainly feels solid and the statistics of the tension meter says I have a strong wheel. Time will tell on that point. It would be really nice to be able to ride my Trek all year, and my plans are to finish the 100-miler at Hotter-n-Hell again this year. More riding is certainly a worthy goal for 2012.
I certainly enjoyed the triathlon I did this past September. I am making it a goal to go back to that one come September 2012. I am also going to work on the Olympic distance triathlon this year. There is one in Waco in July that sounds good. A 1500 meter swim in the Brazos river in July ought to be a hoot. Two triathlons are good goals for 2012.
This next year, I will turn 52. I do know that one of my goals for 2012 is to cease worrying about stuff. If you know anything at all about me, you’ll know that is very hard for me to do. But it’s a goal, nonetheless and one I am biblically commanded to do. And, speaking of that general area, I am going to try and keep my mind open concerning theology this year. I know that I am certainly becoming much more liberal in both theology and politics of late. It’s rather refreshing sometimes, but it brings me into conflict also. However, I think I am getting old enough I can just say to the…well, you know.
A new year is a time for us to reflect on the past year, and to prepare for the next. I’m not quite sure why we do this just because it’s January 1, but it’s not a bad idea. I do think it’s important for us to take our new year with a grain of salt. Even with my plans to run, race, read, and worry less, I still have to factor in that I am not in control of all things. God has designs that I don’t always know about, and it is important to be flexible. He is the one that controls my steps and sometimes my plans run counter to His. It’s always good to not let our goals take over everything. Rigidity is not a pretty sight. But, I look forward to seeing how 2012 will work out. Some of it will be like I planned and some of it won’t. In the end, I think I will look forward to the New Year. How about you?